Holidays: Get more control and reduce travel money risks with a prepaid card

The pound exchange rate can be tricky to understand for many Britons. For most it’s a matter of purchasing travel money for holidays simply when it’s most convenient ahead of the vacation. However, with numerous holidays being cancelled as a result of changing government travel restrictions, buying foreign currency as cash may seem like a risk.

It’s during such times of upheaval that having a prepaid card could well prove more useful.

Not only do prepaid cards give you more control of exchange rates they can also still be used in the UK if your holiday does not go ahead.

Ian Strafford-Taylor, CEO of FairFX (part of the Equals Group) went into further detail.

“When it comes to getting the most out of your hard-earned holiday money, exchange rates make all the difference,” he told

“If you buy at the wrong time or from the wrong place, you could miss out on hundreds of pounds.”

“With Coronavirus and a looming Brexit deadline, there is a lot of uncertainty ahead, which means the pound is vulnerable to further fluctuations.”

It’s well worth monitoring the exchange rate ahead of buying travel money.

“Keeping an eye on currency markets is the key to making sure you get more for your travel money,” Strafford-Taylor said.

“Using a prepaid card gives you more control over exchange rates, whether you’re topping up before you travel or while you’re away, protecting you from unstable markets and further fluctuations.”

An advantage of this is that unlike credit and debit cards prepaid cards won’t open you up to “spending traps.”

Strafford-Taylor explained: “Many people are tempted to pay by credit or debit card while abroad, but this opens them up to a number of spending traps that could eat into their holiday allowance.

“The likes of overseas transaction fees, dynamic currency conversion (DCC) and charges for using an ATM machine while abroad can soon add up.

“Using a prepaid card reduces your risk of being caught out by these sneaky charges when spending abroad.”

“The travel industry is starting to open up again – flights are resuming, and many countries are welcoming tourists back.

“However, as we’ve seen over recent months, things can quickly change and you might find that your holiday is postponed, or worse still, cancelled completely.

“If this does happen, having a prepaid card would mean that you can keep your money safely in one place until you travel again or spend it in the UK without being at the mercy of poor buy-back rates as you would be with leftover cash.”

“Prepaid cards come in all shapes and sizes, so when it comes to picking the right one it can be hard to know where to start.

“The important things to consider are; the exchange rates on offer, the destinations you can spend in, any fees involved and customer service.”

Lastly, holidaymakers should avoiding getting holiday money at the last minute, with airport purchases particularly inadvisable.

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